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Top three reasons to make better sleep a priority in the New Year

Filed in
  • Mental Health
  • Sleep hygiene
  • relationships

By Lynn Celmer  |  Dec 28, 2012
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One New Year's resolution that everyone should keep this year is to make better sleep a priority in the year ahead.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, most adults need about seven to eight hours of sleep each night to feel alert and well rested during the day. Sleeping less than seven hours per night also increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and depression.

Dr. Timothy I. Morgenthaler, of the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center and a spokesperson for the AASM, shares his top three reasons to make better sleep a priority in the New Year:

• Sleep makes you healthier. Without good sleep, both your mental and physical health suffers greatly, putting you at increased risk for chronic disease.

• Sleep makes you happier. It has a positive effect on your mood and overall sense of well-being and can improve relationships with others.

• Sleep makes you smarter. Getting the right amount of sleep helps you to learn better by improving your memory, creativity and cognitive function.

Practicing good sleep hygiene can make a big difference in your life. Here are some tips to help you develop good habits that can improve your sleep:

• Keep a consistent bedtime routine.

• Exercise regularly, just not right before bed.

• Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.

• Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and at a comfortable temperature.

If you are experiencing difficulty sleeping, AASM encourages you to talk to your doctor about sleep problems or visit www.sleepeducation.com for a searchable directory of sleep centers. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine considers sleep disorders an illness that has reached epidemic proportions. Board-certified sleep medicine physicians in an AASM-accredited sleep center provide effective treatment.

The AASM is a professional membership society that is the leader in setting standards and promoting excellence in sleep medicine health care, education and research (aasm.org).


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